“Meditate continually on the mysteries of the cross.”
—Letter to Ermentrude of Bruges
The enormity of Christ offering up his life for us is so great that it will take continual meditation to try and wrap our heads around it. It always will. Clare knew that. All that she did in her life was done in thanksgiving for Christ’s greatest sacrifice on behalf of all of us.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
This theme runs through her entire life—the motif of a plaintive melody. Even before she put this experience into words, Clare lived into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings in the timing of her departure from Assisi. Her Palm Sunday exodus placed her act of renunciation in the midst of the liturgical drama of Holy Week. She joined “the new army of the poor,” and left the city where her armed relatives would demand her return to the Babylon of their wealthy existence. As the days of Holy Week with its Passiontide readings passed, she faced familial outrage and rejection.
She found herself a stranger in a large religious house whose ways were unfamiliar.
The nuns must have been unhappy to have their high holy days disturbed like that. One can imagine their abbess counseling patience and generous forbearance as their noble guest worked out her first steps as a penitent sister. Clare, meanwhile, knew the meaning of the invitation from Hebrews: “Let us then go to him outside the camp, bearing the reproach that he bore. For here we have no lasting city but we seek the one that is to come” (Hebrews 13:13).
—from Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
We stand at the foot of the cross with you
and weep with love and gratitude.
May we always remember the enormity
of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.